Friday’s bond market has opened in positive territory following weaker than expected employment news. The stock markets are showing minor losses, but after yesterday’s sell-off of 317 points in the Dow and 93 points in the Nasdaq, this is somewhat welcomed news for investors. The Dow is currently down 28 points while the Nasdaq has lost 4 points. The bond market is currently up 6/32 (2.53%), which should improve this morning’s mortgage rates by approximately .250 of a discount point over yesterday’s morning pricing. Bonds improved during afternoon trading yesterday as stock selling accelerated, causing many lenders to improve rates slightly. If your lender was in that group, then this morning’s improvement should be smaller.
This morning had a bunch of important economic data for the markets to digest including the almighty Employment report. It was posted at 8:30 AM ET, revealing an increase in the unemployment rate of 0.1% to 6.2% and 209,000 new payrolls added to the economy. Analysts were expecting to see the unemployment rate remain at 6.1% and around 225,000 new jobs. Both readings were favorable for bonds and mortgage rates but neither was a significant miss. I believe this morning’s early bond strength was more a result of relief that we didn’t get much stronger numbers than anything else as stocks improved noticeably from earlier lows also after the data was released.
June’s Personal Income and Outlays report was the second release of the morning. It showed an increase of 0.4% in income and a 0.4% rise in spending as expected. This means consumers had more money to spend in June than May and spent more. However, since these readings were expected and the data is of less importance than the Employment report, it has had little impact on this morning’s mortgage rates.
Just before 10:00 AM ET this morning the University of Michigan posted their revised Index of Consumer Sentiment for July. It came in at 81.8 that was an upward revision from the preliminary reading but close to forecasts. That means that surveyed consumers were a little more optimistic about their own financial situations than previously thought, making the data neutral for the bond and mortgage markets. By theory, the increase is not ideal because it means consumers are willing to spend more, but since it was not a surprise and came from a moderately important release on a day with two extremely important reports, it has not influenced this morning’s trading or mortgage pricing.
The final report of the week was also a highly important piece of data. At 10:00 AM ET today the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said their manufacturing index jumped to 57.1 in July from June’s 55.3. The increase indicated more manufacturing executives felt business improved last month than in June. This was the highest reading since April 2011 and points towards manufacturing sector strength. Therefore, we should consider the data bad news for bonds and mortgage rates.
Next week is much lighter in terms of scheduled reports and events than this week was. There are several pieces of economic data set for release but none of them are anywhere near as important to the markets as some of this week’s data was. There is nothing of importance scheduled for Monday, so look for stocks and weekend geopolitical news to be the reason if mortgage rates make a move as the week opens.